DOMA Update: Breaking news!

The U.S. Department of the Treasury and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) announced today that all same-sex couples, legally married in jurisdictions that recognize their marriages, will be treated as married for federal tax purposes. More importantly, the ruling applies regardless of whether or not the couple lives in a jurisdiction that recognizes same-sex marriage.

The ruling will affect many areas of the same-sex couple’s tax returns. Areas to be reviewed with your CPA are: filing status; personal and dependency exemptions; employee benefits; IRA contributions; and tax credits. Same-sex couples, who are employees, and who purchased same-sex spouse health insurance coverage from their employers on an after-tax basis, may now treat those amounts paid as pre-tax, and therefore excludable from income.

Individuals who were in same-sex marriages may, but are not required to, file original or amended returns. Same-sex couples are now able to amend their previous tax returns reflecting their married status. The limitations for filing an amended return to claim a refund is three years from the date the return was filed, or two years from the date the tax was paid, whichever is later. A refund claim may be filed for tax years 2010, 2011 and 2012.

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